A Flight Through The World Of Hybrid Infrastructure: For Whom Is It Suitable?
What is a hybrid infrastructure, and what does it bring to companies? We have prepared a clear summary of information on hybrid solutions, including examples of infrastructure and how to connect on-premises services and multiple providers.
Hybrid solutions combine private and public infrastructure to create unified, flexible, efficient enterprise IT, where cloud and hardware services hosted by local or multinational providers can be connected.
Using a specific example, we will examine how hybrid infrastructure can help companies benefit from both worlds without compromising security.
Smart Hybrid Infrastructure Design
The foundation of a functional hybrid infrastructure is a well-thought-out design that also allows for future expansion. At MasterDC, we can advise you on the choice of technologies, the layout of applications, and the selection of the ideal connection, as well as configuring the solution and providing follow-up management.
Model Example Of Hybrid Infrastructure
To give you a better picture, we have put together an illustration of a hybrid infrastructure. Using the example of a company producing electronic components, we will show one of the possible options for application layout.
A company maintains an in-house data centre with physical servers. They decided to place part of the application to an external provider for higher efficiency and availability, specifically in the private cloud variant. In this case, the most reasonable way to distribute the applications is as follows:
- ERP and CRM Systems: Since these systems contain sensitive data, the company decided to continue operating on on-premises servers for better data protection.
- Production System: The company also operates its production system internally but has linked it to cloud services to monitor and analyse the production process. This allows the company to monitor its production in real-time and react to potential problems.
- Warehouse System: Runs in the cloud through an external provider, where the company tracks orders, records the number of items in each warehouse, and plans deliveries. The system is linked to the ERP, which allows the company to manage its production efficiently.
- Web Portal: The company operates in the cloud to ensure high availability. Therefore, it can flexibly scale its computing capacity without high investment in new hardware.
Therefore, the company benefits from both solutions while minimising the associated risks – it has full control over critical applications, while not running non-critical ones saves costs and provides flexibility.
Furthermore, the possibilities of hybrid infrastructure architecture are extensive. The diagram above shows several options that MasterDC can provide its customers, including connectivity, load balancing, and infrastructure management.
High-Quality Interconnection – A Secure Foundation For Hybrid Infrastructure
In practice, many companies forget about connectivity when moving to hybrid solutions. However, infrastructure connectivity is crucial for the security and speed of transmissions. At the same time, it is an area where some of the costs must be reserved.
Companies can use the public internet to transfer data, which is neither reliable nor secure, but it is a cost-friendly solution. A safer and more reliable option is transmission via dedicated circuits.
One of the options is a direct connection to the provider. For example, a company can set up a dedicated line under AWS Direct Connect for a one-time fee. Through this, services in AWS are communicated directly with services in the on-premises data centre or at the provider. Subsequently, payment is made for the data volumes transferred.
A more flexible alternative is software-defined circuits, so-called SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking). Users set up private connections to the data centres of multinational and local providers worldwide on existing infrastructure. At MasterDC, customers can set up exactly such a connection. It can also be used continuously or for just a few days, depending on the bandwidth requirements. Thanks to its throughput and low latency, it is an ideal service for streaming content or connecting branches of companies abroad. The great advantage of a software-defined solution is the flexibility, speed of set-up, and savings on physical lines.
Network virtualisation can also be used for local needs, such as connecting on-premises solutions with services in a data centre. For these purposes, some customers use MasterDC’s software-defined networking (SDN), which provides lossless, fast transmissions and control. However, a hybrid infrastructure can also be interconnected using an encrypted VPN tunnel or MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), which is based on labelling packets transmitted over the network and identifying them.
When To Choose Hybrid Infrastructure
Companies mainly consider moving to a hybrid infrastructure when replacing and upgrading hardware or switching to a different strategy. However, as with everything, hybrid solutions have benefits and shortcomings that need to be considered.
Hybrid infrastructure brings companies:
- Higher Reliability and Availability – The systems and optimal conditions of professional data rooms are tailored to meet the requirements of servers and other technologies.
- Compliance with Legislative Requirements – Sometimes, it is necessary to store data on-premises, and sometimes it is necessary to find a provider that meets the proper standards. For example, MasterDC regularly undergoes audits related to issuing ISO certifications for these reasons.
- Flexibility and Security – The combination of solutions allows companies to adapt to different workload requirements and, in the case of the cloud, scale up as needed. At the same time, it reduces the risk of leakage of the data stored internally (provided this part of the infrastructure is well secured).
- Reduced Operating Costs – The operation of the hybrid infrastructure itself allows companies to reduce personnel costs. Leasing servers from a provider also eliminates the need to finance hardware maintenance and component renewals.
However, its disadvantages may be:
- Complexity – Hybrid infrastructure is more complex as it requires the integration of different technologies and services. It can also be particularly problematic when a company’s infrastructure grows without a plan. “Companies often expand their systems organically and then run into problems that a design could have avoided. It would have taken into consideration the potential expansion of the system”, commented Martin Žídek, CTO of MasterDC, on the situation of hybrid solutions.
- Higher Risk of Configuration Errors – The complexity of the solution is also associated with a greater possibility of configuration errors, which can lead to security threats.
- Longer Response Times – When a company does not have part of the infrastructure under its control, it loses full access to the speed of response to change requests or crisis interventions. Ideally, an external solution provider can also cover this layer of infrastructure and provide the company with in-house capabilities – typically in a variety of managed service options.
- Higher Set-Up Costs – The initial cost of hybrid infrastructure is higher, and one reason is the need to interconnect systems. This is why it is recommended to restructure the infrastructure at the time when part of it is to be updated.
However, many risks can be prevented by the design of the architecture. MasterDC can help you with this and provide the necessary know-how for the correct system configuration.